Buying an Engagement Ring

When it comes to planning the perfect proposal, no step is more important than securing your partner’s dream ring…but—from secretly measuring your partner’s finger to securing a stunning box—you may be surprised to find out that buying a ring is a little more complicated than just, well, buying a ring. Not to fear, though, future fiancés—today, we’re offering up 5 pro tips to help you seamlessly secure that all-important ring.

5 Pro Tips on how to buy an engagement ring

1. Measure their finger—stealthily

Before you drop a pretty penny on your partner’s dream ring, you’ll want to start by making sure you know his or her ring size. We know what you’re thinking: Can’t we just get the ring sized after the fact? The plausibility of having a ring resized after you’ve purchased comes down to the design of the ring itself, the material, and how many sizes down (or up) it will need to go. If the band or setting is super intricate, resizing it (especially if it needs to be smaller) might not be possible without losing certain side stones or intricacies of the setting. Certain materials, like tungsten for example, can’t be resized at all.

Because of this, you want to ensure the ring you purchase is as close as possible to your partner’s actual ring size. Lucky for you, we sat down with jewelers across the country to round up 10 ideas for finding out your partner’s ring size without them knowing. From tracing their ring when they’re not looking to talking to their best friend, there are plenty of ways to collect their ring size on the DL.

2. Buy a beautiful ring box

Want to really make your partner swoon? Buy a pretty ring box to complete the proposal. So many people tend to overlook this step and simply propose with the box the ring came in—but it’s such a simple (and affordable!) way to personalize your proposal even further (and to earn you endless brownie points). From custom ring boxes to super-chic copper ones, we’ve rounded up 25 of our favorite engagement ring boxes here. Opt for one that speaks to your partner’s style and aesthetic preferences, and we promise: she’ll fall in love with you all over again before she even sees what’s inside.

3. Select your style

Now the fun begins! If you’re unfamiliar with stone cuts and don’t have much experience with engagement rings, the process can be pretty intimidating…but not to fear—we break down all you need to know about different diamond cuts and shapes here. The cut of the stone is probably the most important part of the ring, so make sure you have an idea of which cuts your partner loves (and which to avoid). You’ll also want to have a clear idea of which metals they prefer (yellow gold, rose gold, white gold, etc.) and the overall style they’re seeking (timeless and traditional, minimalistic, modern, vintage, etc.). Take a look at the recently purchased engagement rings on Blue Nile and James Allen to get some ideas.

4. Shop smart

An engagement ring is a massive purchase—so make sure you’re armed with the information you need to make a smart selection. If ethical sourcing is important to you and your partner, you can read up on Blue Nile’s ethically sourced diamonds here. There are also a few things you’ll want to know before you walk into a jeweler. From the questions a jeweler will ask you to the questions you should be asking, we break down everything you need to know when shopping for an engagement ring here. And don’t forget that shopping for a ring online has a lot of perks. Lastly, if you’re opting for a diamond, you’ll want to know all about the four Cs (say what?)—from carat to clarity, learn how to shop for a diamond before you head to the jewelers.

5. Have a plan in place for secrecy!

The last thing you want to do is come home with an engagement ring in your pocket only to realize you have no idea what to do with it. Keeping the ring hidden might not be as easy as you think—place it somewhere totally unsuspecting, and she could accidentally end up tossing it out with the trash (betcha didn’t think about that); place it somewhere super obvious (like your dresser drawer) and she could stumble upon it in a millisecond. Whether it’s choosing a family member you trust to keep watch over it or locking it away in a safe-deposit box, there are plenty of options for keeping your ring safe and secret before the proposal—make sure you think this through before you have the ring in hand!


Ready to move on to the next step? It’s officially time to pop the question! Check out our pro tips for the perfect proposal here.

Photos by Halli Aldous